Outback miracle as a woman survives TWO WEEKS in searing heat but her companions are still missing

Miracle in the Outback as a woman, 52, survives TWO WEEKS in searing heat by stumbling on a waterhole – but her two companions are still missing after going the other way

  • Tamra McBeath-Riley was found alive in the outback after getting lost weeks ago
  • Her two companions Claire Hockridge and Phu Tran are still missing in the area
  • All three left Alice Springs on November 19 for an afternoon trek in nature
  • Hadn’t been heard from for nearly two weeks when Ms McBeath-Riley was found 

A woman who survived a traumatic fortnight stranded in Australia’s unforgiving Outback saved herself by finding a water hole.

Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, is being treated in an Alice Springs hospital for dehydration and exposure after a traumatic fight for survival.

She was able to survive by boiling and drinking water.  

Her two companions remain missing after their dual cab ute got bogged in a riverbed southwest of Alice Springs almost two weeks ago.

An air search will continue on Monday for Claire Hockridge, 46, and Phu Tran, 40, who set off with Ms McBeath-Riley on November 19, for a drive outside the central Australian town.

Tamra McBeath-Riley (left) has been found alive in the outback after the car she was in gpot bogged and she split apart from her two companions Claire Hockridge (right) and Phu Tran

Search efforts were ramped up with two helicopters deployed at dawn on Monday to cover a search area 23kms from the Stuart Highway.

Police say the 52-year-old survivor was found not far from the trio’s bogged vehicle.

‘She’s had a fairly traumatic period of time. It looks like she had travelled about 1.5km from the vehicle and was in an area where there was some water,’ Superintendent Pauline Vicary has told ABC television.

‘So sensibly she appears to have stayed where the water is and has been drinking that and that’s probably what kept her going.’

A note found in the vehicle, and dated November 21, is guiding Monday’s search.

‘They left it in the vehicle to say that they had been bogged, and what direction they were going to be going in and to get help,’ Supt Vicary said.

It appeared Ms McBeath-Riley had gone north of the vehicle and the others had gone west.

A keen-eyed pastoralist played a key role in saving the woman, telling police he’d spotted tyre tracks in an area that hadn’t been searched.

Mr Tan (pictured) and Mrs Hockridge went in a westerly direction after their car got stuck while Miss McBeath-Riley headed in a northerly direction where she found a waterhole

Mr Tan (pictured) and Mrs Hockridge went in a westerly direction after their car got stuck while Miss McBeath-Riley headed in a northerly direction where she found a waterhole 

‘We got some information from a station worker advising that there were some wheel tracks around the White Hill Dam area, it wasn’t in one of the areas that we had previously searched,’ Supt Vicary said.

‘As a result of that information, we were able to locate the vehicle and then from there they have followed some of the other tracks and have located her.’

The daughter of Miss Hockridge and Mrs McBeath-Riley, Teagan Eden-Street, told Daily Mail Australia it was not like her mother and step-mother to not contact family.

‘It is not abnormal for our mum’s to go for a trek, it is abnormal for them to be out of contact with everyone,’ she said.

‘At the least their close friends in Alice know their movements on a normal day.’

Miss Eden-Street chose not to comment on Mrs McBeath-Riley being found.  

Trio told friends they were headed toward Stuarts Well and Owen Springs areas, south of Alice Springs, for an afternoon trek on November 19 when they went missing (file photo)

Trio told friends they were headed toward Stuarts Well and Owen Springs areas, south of Alice Springs, for an afternoon trek on November 19 when they went missing (file photo)

 

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